Dino DiLaurentiis, never one to shy from controversy, seems to be suggesting Manchester City's "shiekh" may deliver pots of money to El Madrigal to motivate the Submarine players to defeat Napoli and deny the italians a place in the knockout rounds.
Frankly, if suitcases of Middle Eastern money will motivate our players, after the way they played on Saturday, I'm all for it (I'm only kidding, I promise).
More to the point, why Villarreal would want to help Manchester City get out of the Group of Death--after Kun insulted our players in the way he did--is beyond me. If I were Dino I'd be more worried that Bayern Munich, having already won the group, would roll over and let City pick up an easy three points!! I think most Villarreal fans would be happier seeing Napoli progress than Man City as well.
Team news is that Cristián Zapata is training with the team and hopes to be available for Napoli, as too (apparently) does Camuñas. So the long injury list will dwindle to just Catalá and Rossi.
However, the availability of so many players may be a double-edged sword for Coach Garrido, since it removes one of his best excuses for the team's lackluster performances this season. Another interesting article in EPM, too-- stating the obvious, that Garrido has divided the fans and the beautiful football Villarreal was known for has disappeared. And it's suggested Garrido may have lost some of the players, first time I've seen that.
Frankly, it wouldn't be surprising. Garrido plays people out of position (Zapata at right back, Angel in midfield, Marchena in midfield etc.), changes their roles (Borja, DeGuzmán, Pérez), while others go "in the doghouse" and disappear for long stretches (Wakaso the latest example).
As for the B teamers he's called up, Garrido won't use Gullón, took the best defender from the B team (Lejeune) but hasn't even had him warm up, shuttles Joselu between A and B, but promotes Moises to the A team and brings him on in two games in a row. It's all very confusing.
The B team is showing the effects of all this chaos--Gullón had the worst game I have seen him have, Joselu was subdued as well, and players like Airam and Castellani didn't seem to have their heart in it on Friday. Just like with the A team, players disappear--Lucas Porcar has seen his playing time dwindle, Chiki Guerrero has asked to be released from his contract to return to Ecuador.
Both squads, A and B, looked as if they had no idea where anyone was supposed to be playing or any heart, soul , fire, call it what you will--in their performance. We've always wanted the B team to play like the A team, but this wasn't what we had in mind!! Both are in danger of relegation, both coaches, Garrido and Molina, are under fire and need to turn things around quickly.
Our woes are especially annoying given that the Primera and Segunda look fairly even this year (except at the top, of course). The last Champions League spot and the two Europa League spots are certainly within reach of any club that can put a run together, because Malaga, Athletic, Atleti, Sevilla--all are dropping points. A Villarreal run could close the gap quickly, but I don't see it happening if we can't win on the road and struggle at home.
And the Segunda table is starting to separate into a bottom 8 (including Villarreal B) and the rest, but the pecking order in "the rest" is fairly undefined. Again, a team that goes on a run can move up the table pretty easily. But based on current form, it doesn't look likely to be the Mini-Submarine.
Needless to say, I'll be happy to be proven wrong, by both our A and B teams. Endavant, gentlemen!!